“Nakayanan ng aking pamilya. Alam kong kaya niyo rin. Basta sama-sama, kayang-kaya! (My family was able to make it. I know you can too. With unity, we will be able to make it!)”

This is how Julita C. Libao posted a challenge to the other 4Ps household beneficiaries during the Pantawid Pamilya Graduation Ceremony in Balaoan, La Union to keep fighting to improve their level of well-being.

Julita can still vividly recall the time when her family was struggling to make ends meet. The days with meager food on the table, forcing them to borrow money from neighbors, relatives, and friends. Julita and his husband Crisanto even skipped meals just to provide school allowance for their three children.

Being seasonal rice farmers, the couple has very low income. However, despite their low educational attainment, they dreamt big. But the road to their success has been rough. Maribeth, their eldest daughter, got pregnant and was left by her partner. Nonetheless, the family supported Maribeth in raising her son, Junmar and did not stop striving. These were one of the darkest moments faced by Libao Family. They never ceased to pray hard that someday, a ray of light shall shed them and be hopeful for brighter days to come.

Nothing is permanent in this world. Gloomy days are gone and Libao Family’s life brightened up with the support of the program for the health and education for the grandchild. They embraced and lived by the program’s conditions as they believe that these are the essential keys for their family’s holistic development. The grants received were shared for the education of all their children and their grandchild.

“Napakahalaga ng aming natututuhan sa Family Development Session. Walang halaga ang makatutumbas sa mga naibibigay na aral sa amin. Nagagawa naming maisabuhay ang mga ito at naibabahagi rin namin sa lahat ng miyembro ng aming pamilya, sa mga kapitbahay, at sa barangay (Our learnings from the Family Development Session are vital. No amount can match the lessons imparted to us. We are able to live by it and also share it to all our family members, our neighbors, and in our barangay),” Julita uttered.

After years of hardwork and persistence, Maribeth finished Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in Osias Educational Foundation despite her early pregnancy with the scholarship sponsored by support of the Provincial Government of La Union.. Currently, Maribeth is employed at Nagsabaran Sur Elementary School, Nagsabaran Sur, Balaoan, La Union as Teacher III. Meanwhile, Joanna Marie, the second daughter is already a Police Officer 1 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Police Station 4, Pasay City after finishing Bachelor of Science in Criminology. Ryan, the youngest child, is applying his profession as Mechanic in Baguio City after finishing Auto Diesel Mechanic NC II.

“Sinikap naming suportahan ang pag-aaral ng aming mga anak dahil wala silang maaaring mamana sa amin kung hindi ang edukasyon. Ito ang magsisilbing armas nila para mapagtagumpayan ang anumang hamon sa kanilang buhay (We tried our best to support our children in schooling because they have nothing to inherit from us except their education. This will serve as their weapon in braving the challenges in their life),” Julita shared.

Libao Family is confidently facing a new chapter of their life after graduating from 4Ps coupled with their renewed personality and inspired by the ideals of the program which lead them to bloom in the new soil where they are planted. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II / Pantawid Pamilya)